Professional practice courses are part of every college of health professions curriculum. They are often called rotations, or clerkships. These courses are part of the professional curriculum at Touro College and use a teaching and learning methodology called experiential education. This term was first used in the 1930s by John Dewey who felt that students should gain experiences in the world if they were going to be successful. The curriculum in the Touro College of Pharmacy in Harlem New York provides an opportunity for students to experience the real world, beginning in their first semester. The classroom components of the first two years enable students to learn to problem solve and integrate information across disciplines. The professional practice courses facilitate the process of application and integration of new knowledge. The professional practice courses make up slightly more than 45% of the total curriculum and are spread out across four years. The last two years in school primarily involve the student in practice courses and settings. Students will be exposed to practices that integrate public health, advocacy and the practice of pharmacy in community, institutional and industry settings.
Students enrolled in the Touro College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) curriculum are required to complete 12 professional pharmacy and public health practice courses in addition to 1 course called a Capstone that require integration of knowledge gained during the hybrid (classroom plus online) and professional practice components of the curriculum.
All practice experience courses are coordinated by the Practice Experiences Program associates. The affiliation of sites and selection of preceptors by the Touro College of Pharmacy leaders ensures selection of qualified practitioners, sites with educational goals and student-friendly missions and an agreement that student pharmacist education ought to prepare professionals ready to move the practice forward in preparation for the future needs of society.
During this coursework student pharmacists work with other health care professionals to provide patient-care services, not limited to health education, disease state management, prevention and wellness direction and counseling, medication-therapy management, and other primary care activities as necessary. Student pharmacists are also involved in the community working directly with children and adults in various settings including schools, clinics and community agencies.
During the first two years of the curriculum students enroll in 4 required introductory practice courses. Three of these are directly related to pharmacy and one course involves students in advocacy for the profession, health care reform, and patient services. During the last two years of the pharmacy college curriculum students complete 8 advanced practice courses, one directly related to public health, and four required courses in ambulatory care, general medicine, institutional, and community pharmacy practice settings. There are a total of three elective advanced pharmacy practice experience courses.
First year student pharmacist requirements:
Student pharmacists are placed in courses beginning January following matriculation. Students will be placed in two courses during the first year for two of the months of January, June, July or August. The introductory public health course (PHRM 506) faculty, involve students in learning about the Harlem community and the people who live there and the organizations that serve the population. The introductory pharmacy practice experience course (PHRM 512) requires students spend full time in a community pharmacy learning skills, and integrating knowledge from the classroom. An intern permit issued by the State of New York is required to complete this course.
Second year student pharmacist requirements:
Student pharmacists are placed in pharmacy practice experience courses for two of the four months January, June, July, or August following the beginning of the second year. Two courses are required, one in institutional operations (PHRM 641) and one selective requirement (PHRM 642) providing students with an opportunity to preference placement in nontraditional pharmacy settings, such as a nursing home, rehabilitation center, managed care, hospice, or home infusion settings. Each of these practice experiences require student pharmacists to build on their understanding from all first year courses and practice in addition to integrating and application of new skills and knowledge.
Third and Fourth year student pharmacist requirements:
Student pharmacists are placed in advanced pharmacy and public health practice experience courses. There are a total of 8 courses including 1 required select public health and 4 required pharmacy practice, and 3 electives. Students will preference the sites where they would like to learn during the last two years using an experiential-education course management system called E-value.™ Student pharmacists receive 5 academic credit hours for core advance practice experience courses. Elective courses are offered in areas of management, global health studies, research, industry, direct patient care, leadership, public health, local, state and national pharmacy and health organizations, political offices, and other venues where pharmacists are found to practice and will practice in the future.
All core advanced pharmacy practice experience courses are 6 weeks in length and advance electives are usually 4 weeks in duration but can range based on the requirements of the course and/or site. Students wishing to take time off for observance of religious or secular holidays are referred to the practice experience course absence policy. The time spent during these courses is a requirement for completion of the PharmD curriculum and licensure. The sum of introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experience course hours meet the requirements for New York to sit for the licensure examination.